Why We Love the Rode M5

rode m5

Finding a mic that you love can seem like a never-ending process. Whether you’re trying to record acoustic instruments like an acoustic guitar or vocals, good drum microphones for your studio can be hard to come by. Fortunately, some mics do beat expectations, and the Rode M5 is one of them.

If you’re looking into purchasing one or want to know what all the hype is about, then keep reading.

Here are all the reasons why we love the Rode M5.

At A Glance

The Rode M5 is a very quiet mic with low self-noise and high-quality audio output. It’s a small diaphragm condenser mic, but it has a powerful and impressive sound. With a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20kHz, it picks up quite a bit. However, since it’s a cardioid mic, it won’t pick up on sounds coming from behind or to the side of the mic.

The microphones are built from metal and covered in Rode’s ceramic to give it a stylish yet practical look. Both mics come with windshields and RM5 stand mounts.

In the simplest of words, you won’t find a better mic in the same price range. The Rode M5 is affordable and impressive.

Rode M5 Review

Everything from the design to the included accessories make this mic set great for any recording musician. You’ll find out why below:

1. Design

The Rode M5 is a condenser microphone that comes as a matched pair of mics designed in a pencil-style. They are very thin, tube-shaped mics with a diaphragm condenser protected by mesh.

While the body of the mics is built out of durable metal, they are cased in matte black ceramic to give them a stylish appearance. Everything from the slim build to the attractive logo is aesthetically pleasing. There’s even a small gold dot placed at the top of the mic head that distinguishes it as a Rode model.

With the double metal-ceramic design, these mics are designed to be long-lasting and durable. The design also helps the mics provide high-quality audio output.

The diaphragm condenser used in these mics is small and powerful. It captures the excellent sound and limits excess background noise from coming through during a recording. This type of diaphragm condenser makes these mics great for anyone wanting to record acoustic or choral performances.

2. Specifications

The internal circuitry of the Rode M5 mics uses a J-FET impedance converter for a bipolar output that is transformerless. The mics both have a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20kHz and has a very low hump, only around 7kHz. With a flat frequency response, you won’t notice it until you reach around -3dB. 

Even without any pads or switches, these mics can easily handle 140 dB of SPLs. It has a sensitivity of -34 dB and a 19 dB EIN A-weighted noise figure. If there’s any background noise present, it won’t be a problem. 

Each mic is only 100 mm long and 20 mm wide. Weighing only 80 grams each, they’re very lightweight and easy to carry or travel with. Thanks to such a slim design, they are easy to set up even with awkward or strange instruments. 

The Rode M5 comes with an automatic 12-month warranty, but it can be extended for up to 10 years if you register with Rode. 

3. Included Accessories

Everyone likes free and included accessories. When you purchase the Rode M5 mic set, you’ll get some. The best part about this is that you’ll get two of each accessory because there are two mics. You won’t have to purchase anything extra.

Rode includes two windshields, two RM5 mic stands, a manual, and a fun sticker with their mics. Although you probably don’t want to put the large “I Love Microphones” sticker on your mic, it does look pretty good on a water bottle. 

While the windshields aren’t fancy, they’re certainly helpful. If you’re worried about the mics, we suggest investing in stronger windshields. For the time being, though, the two included windshields will help.

Unlike the windshields, the included RM5 mic stands don’t feel or look cheap. They’re strong and secure. You won’t feel wary about mounting your mics to them like you would with some cheap models. 

4. Special Features

As we’ve mentioned, the M5 mics are diaphragm condensers. To be specific, though, they are cardioid condenser mics. Thanks to the condenser capsule, they are incredibly sensitive and will pick up whatever you want to record. Fortunately, the cardioid aspect of the condenser means that they’ll only pick up on the sounds in front of them and not on any background noise.

Even if you’re recording in a louder area, the mics are pretty good about only picking up on the sound you want. As long as you position them directly in front of the instruments or vocalists you want to record, they’ll eliminate all other sounds.

The diaphragm condenser in these mics is only ½ inch big. This allows it to pick up on high frequencies and last in louder events.

5. Performance

A mic’s performance plays the biggest role in whether it’s a good mic or not. Some mics struggle to record acoustic guitars and some mics aren’t ideal for vocals. The Rode M5, however, excels at pretty much everything. Performance included.

When recording an acoustic guitar, the M5 mics deliver clear, detailed sound. Thanks to the gentle presence hump in the mics, the sound is transient without being harsh. The recorded sound is always crisp and clean which is something that many mics struggle with when it comes to acoustic instruments. 

These mics are fantastic for any acoustic recordings you want to do. You won’t need to perform any major processing or EQing on the recorded audio in order to get a sound that you like.

Additionally, these mics work well for vocals. They work especially well for male voices, even tenors. The sound recorded and produced is even and smooth, perfect for recording choirs or other music groups.

The pair of M5 mics work very well together. Their sensitivity is well matched, and they deliver the same results every time. Because they feature the same technology and design, you’ll be hard-pressed to find other mics that will pair so well together.

6. Sound Quality

For anyone that wants an incredible mic set but doesn’t want to exceed a certain budget, the M5 is one of the best options. You’ll stay on the lower end of the price range, but get mics that provide a sound quality that is often only seen in more expensive models.

The engineering in these mics is impressive, and the recorded audio is unrivaled. In addition, the Rode M5 provides high sound quality at an affordable price. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a mic that is equally good and still in the same price range. 

Things to Take Note Of

As with every mic, there are some things about the Rode M5 that you should note. While many of the features are impressive, there are still some drawbacks that you should be aware of.

For us, these cons aren’t enough to convince us to choose something other than the Rode M5. Before committing to the mic set, take note of the cons below.

1. No Storage Box or Pouch

It seems almost like common sense to include a storage box or pouch of some sort. Rode does not. Perhaps this is because they offer windshields and mic stands instead, but there’s no question about how important storage is.

Since storage is crucial for any microphone, Rode should offer some storage instead of the windshields. As it is, though, you’re on your own when it comes to storing the mics.

You’ll have to purchase a separate box for these mics, which can be expensive, but it allows you to make sure you find something strong enough to protect your mics.

2. The Capsule is not Replaceable

In many mics, the microphone capsule is replaceable. Unfortunately, that is not the case for the Rode M5 mics. If you have any problems with the mic capsule, you won’t be able to replace it.

Of course, if you have Rode’s added warranty, it’s possible to get a replacement mic or talk to them about solving the problem. Just know that you won’t be replacing the capsule yourself or even taking it to someone else to fix.

Final Verdict

Whether you’re recording an acoustic guitar or live sound, the Rode M5 doesn’t fail to impress with its wide frequency response, low noise and impressive sound quality. These Rode M5 pencil mics offer a great balance between quality and your budget, and their long warranty is just the icing on the cake.